Your Rights At Work

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SAFERjobs supports job seekers, agency staff, and contractors with any suspected fraud, malpractice, breach of legislation, or poor experience they may encounter

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The Careers Service aims to vet vacancies so that only appropriate ones are advertised. We aim to give you as much information about a vacancy as we can, including hours to be worked, location of work, pay rates etc.  Keep in mind that, even though you may be working on a part-time or temporary basis, you do have rights at work - you are protected by some fairly new UK and European legislation.

Entering the world of work will introduce you to some new and challenging situations. Hopefully, everything should work out so that you and your employer both benefit from the work you do.

When you start a new job you need to check your terms and conditions of employment, including:

  • how much you will be paid
  • how you will be paid (eg cheque, bank transfer, cash)
  • and when you will be paid (eg weekly in arrears, monthly in arrears, 10 days after work is carried out etc).

In addition:

  • keep full contact details of the company/employer should you need to contact them, as well as any wage slips you get
  • check the number of hours you will have to work for jobs with "variable or casual hours" and check how often you are likely to be offered, or expected to, work.
Here are some things to consider.

GOV UK: Checks employers can make on job applicants 

An employer may need or wish to carry out pre-employment checks depending on what type of job you have applied for.  There are many different types of checks eg references, background checks such as Disclosure Scotland, identification checks, security checks, health checks. 

An employer who wishes to employ an international student is responsible for ensuring that the student has the legal right to work while studying in the UK.  The employer will ask to see the student's passport and possibly other documents and may wish to take photocopies for his/her records.

GOV UK: Employment Contracts

You may or may not be offered a written contract of employment by your employer.  If you don't have a written employment contract, your contract would have automatically been created when you started to work for your employer.

GOV UK: National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage  

Every worker, aged 16 or over, is entitled to receive the National Minimum Wage.

You must be at least aged 23 to get the National Living Wage.

From April 2022, the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage is:

  • 23 years and over - £9.50
  • 21-22 years - £9.18 per hour
  • 18-20 years of age (inclusive) - £6.83 per hour
  • Under 18 - £4.81 per hour
  • Apprentice - £4.81 per hour

There are some exceptions to these rules - find out who gets the minimum wage

  • For information on minimum wage, advice on your earnings use the Acas website: Advice for employees and employers 
  • If you come across an employer who has advertised via the Careers Service and who does not pay the minimum wage, or the wage stated in the job advert, please report this immediately to us.
  • Anyone can make a complaint about an employer who does not pay the minimum wage.  See the GOV UK website:  Complain about pay and work rights.

Find out more about the Glasgow Living Wage.

GOV UK:  Payslips: your rights  

Is your employer required to give you a payslip? What details should be on your payslip?

GOV UK: Employment Status

Do you know if you are a "worker" or an "employee"?  

The definition of "worker" and "employee" differs slightly so make sure you know which one you are.

GOV UK: Rest breaks at work 

includes rest breaks during the working day, daily rest and weekly rest

GOV UK:  Your rights as an agency worker 

including paid holidays and work in the entertainment & modelling industries

GOV UK:  Your contract and working hours 

More on overtime, in-work breaks, working at night, Sunday work, flexible working, working time limits


GOV UK: Part-time workers' rights  

Part-time workers have the right not to be treated less favourably than comparable full-time workers in their contractual terms and conditions. 

GOV UK:  Your rights at work and trade unions  

Trade Unions are organisations that represent people at work. Their main purpose is to protect and improve people's pay and conditions of employment. It may be possible to join a Trade Union at your place of work.

GOV UK:  Redundancies, dismissals and disciplinaries 

You should be aware that if you become involved in any kind of dispute with your employer, neither the NUS nor the Careers Service will be able to assist you, as neither party has the resources.  It is solely the responsibility of the student to bring any legal action against an employer.

The TUC (Trade Union Congress) is the national organisation which represents trade unions in Britain. See Workplace Guidance: Dismissal, redundancy and grievance.  

Citizens Advice Scotland: Work also has good information on employment issues.

Online social networking and work visit workSMART from the TUC.

GOV UK:  Health and safety at work 

including employers' health and safety responsibilities; fire safety in the workplace, workplace temperatures etc